09-10-2004, 08:45 AM
Brad from ePublishing Blog has just published (http://shadowdark.org/epublish/2004/09/plucker-ebook-reader-and-compiler.html) an interesting review of Plucker (you should also check out Brad's earlier review on iSilo (http://shadowdark.org/epublish/2004/08/isilo-ebook-reader.html) and iSiloX (http://shadowdark.org/epublish/2004/08/isilox-ebook-compiler.html)). It is worth checking out. We definitely agree with him:
Plucker does not spend enough time trumpeting how good of an ebook compiler and reader they have. The reader, on the Palm has one of the most elegant interfaces I have seen. The compiler is not quite as straight forward but if you play with it you will figure it out rather quickly. Both reader and compiler are absolutely free and without any royalties for publishing in the format.
Btw, we added ePublishing Blog newsfeeds to our Frontpage. You can disable/enable it in your control panel (http://www.mobileread.com/forums/profile.php?do=portal).
09-10-2004, 12:41 PM
Actually though, we DO have commercial support, quite a bit of it in fact. For example, Bluefish Wireless' entire product line was (is?) still based entirely on the Plucker viewer and distiller components. There's an ongoing GPL investigation in that case, but they are one company definately using our components (license violations aside).
The Linux Documentation Project (http://www.tldp.org/docs.html) (LDP) also redistributes their ENTIRE HOWTO collection in Plucker format, exclusively. In fact, we're the only mobile version of the content they distribute.
Health Data Management (http://healthdatamanagement.com) also redistributes their magazine's articles in Plucker format, exclusively.
EyeText (http://www.eyetext.net/inotes/inotes.php) also distributes their iNotes to doctors in Plucker format, with a slightly-modified (and rebranded) version of the Plucker viewer (http://eyetext.net/inotes/palm.php).
Palm themselves, even dropped support internally for AvantGo for their employees, and paid at least one member of the Plucker team to get the high-resolution support working better on their up-and-coming (now T-series) devices before they were launched.
We definately have lots of commercial users, traction, and support. The examples above are only a small percentage of the kinds of places using Plucker in their business. Most of what we see is in media, medical and pharmaceutical industry, and academia. The other bulk of redistribution is in the free and semi-commercial space with converted ebooks in Plucker format.
I've just received a call from the Gluten Free Pantry (http://www.glutenfree.com/) yesterday (my wife is a celiac, and we shop at GFP regularly), and they have agreed to begin redistributing some of their content (their cookbook, for example, which I am building for them) in Plucker format.
The IMDB is another, though we have to license that content from them.. but that will be coming soon as well (commercial download only, of course, due to the expensive licensing).
We probably should make an effort to publicize this a bit more, but we only really hear about it on the back-end, or when these companies contact us for rebranding or to help them through some problems they've seen.
09-10-2004, 12:45 PM
We probably should make an effort to publicize this a bit more, but we only really hear about it on the back-end, or when these companies contact us for rebranding or to help them through some problems they've seen. And we are working on it, as you and I have discussed a couple of days ago on ICQ ;)
09-11-2004, 02:31 PM
The other important thing I should mention, is that none of these commercial companies have ever paid a single cent to the Plucker project, in terms of time, dollars or other contributions that we have seen or measured (other than Palm hiring off one of the team for a small consulting effort). If any of these companies are here, reading this, and have contributed back, please let us know, so we can publically recognize your contributions!
Of course, we would love to see more contributors and commercial supporters. We've asked dozens of times for help with various parts of the project (documentation, translators, website, sample documents, news articles, etc.) but nobody really seems to step up to volunteer, unless there is some sort of "reward" coming back their way. If they're not getting "paid" to help out in some way, they don't want to help at all.
Many people just don't understand Free Software (the kind with the capital "F", not the kind with the lowercase "f"), it seems.
In that context, there's a great HOWTO (http://puzzling.org/pub/HOWTO/Free/) on exactly that. Its worth a read for those who would like to contribute, but aren't exactly sure how.